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Living Cost In Thailand – Moving To Thailand

Living in Thailand comes down to two factors: your basic expenditures (set monthly expenses) and your own lifestyle, which is added on top of those prices.

 

Imagine waking up to start your day bathing in the sun, with a humid wind through your hair and the fragrance of the sea – far away from the concerns of rising rents, traffic, and dreary weather.

Is it the whole total of life? Work without the opportunity to see all there is to see on this planet?

That’s what sparked my interest. I finally gave up and relocated to Thailand.

It seemed like a great jump, and it was! But it was worth it. I had no idea I could alter the course of my life with the snap of my fingers. Now I get to experience new flavors and meet new people while staying in the comfort of this wonderful country.

You’re already thinking about it if you’ve discovered this article. So take this as your signature.

I understand how frightening it might be to relocate to a new location and start anew. But don’t worry; this detailed guide will teach you all you need to know before making the switch.

Continue reading to learn all you need to know about the living cost in Thailand.

Table of Contents

Why Should You Move to Thailand?

The main reason I was drawn to live in Thailand is the low living costit is regarded as one of the cheapest cities in the world! A little money may go a long way, particularly when it comes to lodging. Along with a cheap cost of living, the nation is brimming with amazing scenery, beaches, and tropical settings to visit during your downtime.

Moving To Thailand

And, don’t forget, the cuisine is out of this world! You’ll discover the well-known Thai green curries and mango-sticky rice, but don’t forget to sample some of the more distinctive, local delicacies. The flavors will astonish you and keep you returning for more.

Living cost in Thailand Summary

Before we go into the nitty-gritty, it’s vital to acquire a clear understanding of the necessary prices.

Of course, this is only a broad concept of what constitutes the living costin Thailand, and it may vary from area to region, but the figures won’t vary too much.

This list was prepared with the help of an ex-pat residing in Thailand.

Expense

$ Cost

Rent (Private Room Vs Luxury Villa)$300 – $1250
Electricity$40
Water$20
Mobile Phone$10 – $25
Gas$10
Internet$10 – $20
Eating Out$300 – $1600
Groceries$150+
Housekeeper (less than 10 hours)$60
Car or Scooter Rental$50 – $150
Gym Membership$20 – $60
TOTAL$1000+

How Much Does it Cost to Live in Thailand?

Let’s get down to business now that you’ve had a sneak peek at the pricing. Here are some of the things you should think about before relocating.

Thailand Rentals

Rent will be your most expensive expense in Thailand, as it is in any other country.

There are several housing options available, including flats, homes, and luxury villas; they have it all!

The best aspect is the cost of accommodation. A low rent may provide you with a pleasant stay that would cost a fortune in the Western world. The key elements influencing rent costs are the kind of housing, provinces, and location. Despite being Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok does not have the highest rent.

Chiang Mai is another popular ex-pat destination, with rental costs that are 20% cheaper than in Bangkok. Prices are higher in more touristic regions such as Pattaya, Phuket, and Koh Samui.

Chiang Mai Silver Temple
Chiang Mai Silver Temple

There are a plethora of Facebook groups dedicated to assisting ex-pats in finding long-term housing in Thailand, which may be quite beneficial. Thailand Travel Advice Group and Expats in Thailand are few of our favorites:

    • Shared Room in Bangkok – $300
    • Private Apartment in Bangkok – $450
    • Luxury Option in Bangkok – $1000+

We propose that you stay in a short-term rental or hotel for a week or two first to get a feel for the region and pricing before committing.

A hostel in Thailand is a cheap choice. However, keep in mind that it will not be large enough to accommodate all of your possessions in a shared place!

A more comfortable choice would be to book a Thailand Hostel, which often offers discounts for longer stays.

Transport in Thailand

Thailand’s roads might be fantastic in general, yet there are a lot of incidents. Although public transit is accessible, having your vehicle is the most convenient way to get about. I’d recommend acquiring a motorcycle if you can drive. Otherwise, getting to the city would be tough.

Renting a bike may range from $15 to $30 per month.  My buddy even purchased a motorcycle for more than $180. There are also songthaews, Grab, and taxis. However, bear in mind that access to Grab might be limited, particularly at night.

Tuk Tuk In Thailand
Tuk Tuk in Thailand.

If you intend to ride a bus or songthaew, which costs around $0.20 to $0.60 each trip, your monthly transportation expenditures should not exceed $13. If you use the BTS or MRT for your everyday commute, you will spend $0.90 each trip on average, or roughly $40 for the monthly package.

To drive a car or ride a motorbike in Thailand, you must have the proper license and insurance for the type of vehicle, according to Thai legislation. You will need to apply for a Thai driving license, or an International Driving Permit if you already have a UK license.

    •  Taxi Ride (Airport to City) – $13.50
    • Taxi (1km) – $1.05
    • 50cc Scooter Rental (per month) – $15-$30
    • Petrol and general bike maintenance – $60
    •  Monthly train pass – $40+

Food in Thailand

Thailand’s food in three words I would use to describe it: tasty, unique, and adventurous!

A typical supper in Thailand costs around $1.50. You’ll spend roughly $2.40 each meal, or $8 per day, after beverages, dessert, or fruit. It’s unrealistic to expect you to eat at the local food market every day. You may wish to dine at a restaurant or someplace a little more upscale on occasion. Normally, this will cost about $10.

Thb 100 Per Bowl Of Kuay Teow Neau Buai

The best way to save on your overall living cost in Thailand is. This will save you money since your monthly grocery prices are around $180.

To give you a ballpark figure, below are some common necessary food expenses.

    • Rice (1Kg) – $1.14
    • Potatoes – $1.17
    • Chicken – $2.37
    • Vegetable Oil – $2-$3
    • Bread (Loaf) – $1.20
    • Eggs – $1.63
    • Milk (regular, 1 litre)  – $1.60
    • Bottle of Wine – $15.00
    • Apples – $2.62

Drinking in Thailand

Thailand, like other Southeast Asian nations, does not consume tap water. To be safe, only drink boiling or treated water. A 1.5-liter bottle of water will cost you $0.50.

As a visitor to Thailand, I know you won’t shy away from a night out drinking. Nights out might cost you roughly $90 per month on average. A bottle of wine costs $15, while an imported lager costs around $2.75.

Unless you want to drink a lot, you’re likely to spend $15 for a drink at a typical pub – which may get you a few drinks and some appetizers. Please keep in mind that imported goods will cost more than they do in the Western world.

Why Should You Travel to Thailand with a Water Bottle?

Even the most beautiful beaches are littered with plastic… As a result, do your bit to preserve the Big Blue lovely!

You won’t fix the world overnight, but you may as well be a part of the solution rather than the issue. Traveling to some of the world’s most isolated locations reveals the entire scope of the plastic crisis. And I hope this inspires you to continue being a careful traveler.

Be A Responsible Traveller
Be A Responsible Traveller

Furthermore, you will no longer be purchasing pricey bottles of water from stores! Instead, bring a filtered water bottle and you’ll never squander a penny or a turtle’s life again.

Keeping Active and Busy in Thailand

You’re not traveling to a new nation only to remain at home, I’m guessing — you do you. There are several activities in Thailand to keep you occupied and active.

My main piece of advice is to live in a location where you wish to dwell rather than merely visit.

If you insist on relocating to the islands, be prepared for a swarm of visitors all year.

Placeholder 2022

Pollution may have an impact on you, particularly if you live in a city center. Bangkok and Chiang Mai aren’t the finest places to get some fresh air since there are so many automobiles on the road. In addition, throughout the winter in Chiang Mai, you will be assaulted with smoke from farmlands.

Here are some ideas for fun things to do in your spare time:

    • Fitness club (monthly fee for 1 adult) – $47
    • Tennis Court (1 hour on the weekend) – $10
    • Cinema (1 seat) – $6
    • Ferry (To, around, and from the islands) – $50-$60
  • Hiking in Khao Sok – $36
  • Flights around Thailand – $126
  • Thai Language Class – $40

School in Thailand

If you’re relocating to Thailand with school-aged children, you have a few alternatives.

You have the option of attending a local public school or a private international school.

Local public schools solely educate in Thai and are free for Thai students. The majority of ex-pats enroll their children in foreign schools. Many are in Bangkok, although there are alternatives outside of the capital, such as the International School of Samui.

International private schools may be rather expensive. Annual fees vary from USD 11k to USD 17k per kid, with preschool/kindergarten choices ranging from $45 to $50 monthly.

Medical Costs in Thailand

Thailand is growing increasingly popular for medical tourism as a result of its high-quality care and cheaper treatment expenses than Western nations. However, keep in mind that the Thai healthcare system is not at the same level as that of a developed country.

SafetyWing provides a monthly healthcare plan that is suitable for Digital Nomads, ex-pats, and long-term travelers. I’ve been using these for a while now and find them to be quite useful.

Alternatively, practically every main street in Thailand has a pharmacy that sells a broad selection of medications. Prices will be lower than those of commercial hospitals and, in certain cases, government institutions. However, we always urge that you get good travel insurance before you go.

Visas in Thailand

If you want to remain in Thailand for a lengthy amount of time, you will need a visa. Tourist visas are valid for thirty or sixty days, and while in the country, you may seek an extension of 60 or 90 days at the Thai embassy.

Thai Tourist Visa
Thai Tourist visa

For longer stays, and to avoid the headache of renewals and government bureaucracy, the Thailand Elite Visa can secure you a 5 to 20-year visa right now — without having to deal with paperwork or visit an immigration office. Of course, this comes with a hefty USD 18K price tag, but if you plan on remaining here permanently, it’s a steal.

If you want to extend your stay in Thailand, you may take a journey to Laos. It is important to understand that working on a tourist visa is forbidden. With the right paperwork, most employers would be able to acquire a work visa.

Thailand Banking

In general, foreigners should create a bank account in Thailand since using a home country card would undoubtedly burn a hole in your wallet with each transaction. Opening a bank account is a rather simple procedure, and it is the superior alternative since Thailand is a strongly cash-reliant nation.

Most Thai banks may demand a work permit before establishing an account or providing a credit card, however, this varies per bank. Citibank, CIMB, and Bangkok Bank are popular choices, with ATMs located across the country.

Ayutthaya Day Tour
If you’re a constantly on-the-go digital nomad, I suggest Payoneer or Wise for their reliable and rapid transactions for all your international business and travel requirements. These borderless accounts are ideal for travelers and ex-pats since they allow you to keep various currencies and spend money at any the local exchange rate in the country.

Taxes in Thailand

Thailand’s taxes are generally cheap. However, tax regulations in Thailand vary between residents and non-residents. If you stay more than 180 days in Thailand in a year, you have been deemed a tax resident and must pay Thai taxes.

If you are from the United Kingdom, as I am, Thailand has signed a double tax deal with the United Kingdom that prevents double taxes. Thailand has signed the same pact with numerous nations, so conduct your research and consult with the tax authorities in your own country.

If your income is between $4k and USD 5k, your tax rate is 5%, and if your income is between USD 15k and USD 20k, your tax rate is up to 10%.

Hidden Living Cost in Thailand

When you take away the necessities like food, job, and medical care, there are hidden costs that come with living everywhere, and Thailand is no different.

Koh Tao Island
Koh Tao Island

Whether it’s an emergency trip back home or you’ve misplaced your electronic gear, the costs may range from $500 to USD 3K, or more!

It seems logical to save some money for a rainy day. Especially if you’re relocating to a new and unknown location. Maintain a buffer in your account to guarantee that any emergency problems or unexpected costs may be handled with ease.

Insurance for Living in Thailand

Living in Thailand is generally a joyful experience, although errors may occur. Even for the most well-prepared among us. Traveling on Thailand’s famed roads may lead to accidents – as can any road – but racing motorcycles and untrustworthy road laws add a little more hazard. From food illness due to unfamiliarity with the cuisine to pollution in general, dependable medical insurance is a must-have! SafetyWing is my go-to and has gotten me out of a lot of jams. Digital nomads should also think about device insurance, which covers things like accidental damage, water damage, and even theft!

What You Should Know Before Moving to Thailand

Now that we’ve gotten the statistics and prices out of the way, how is living in Thailand truly like?

Finding Employment in Thailand

The majority of ex-pats are digital nomads, however, some have moved overseas intending to obtain work. English-teaching positions are the most in-demand.

Most will expect you to have a TEFL certificate. Indeed, there are so many English-teaching positions listed online that finding one has never been simpler! There are even Facebook groups to assist you in finding your ideal teaching position in Thailand.

One of the most crucial things to know as an ex-pat is that foreign laborers are subject to government-mandated minimum pay. These salaries differ depending on nationality.

Citizens of Western European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States must earn at least 50,000 baht per month (about USD 1500+), but Myanmar residents must earn half that amount.

Alternatively, you may engage with local NGOs that want to profit from your knowledge in any specific field, such as marketing or management.

Where Should You Live in Thailand?

In general, life in Thailand varies from area to region. If you want more touristic activities, a metropolitan life, and a natural setting, the southern regions and beaches are an appealing alternative. If you want to get to know the inhabitants on a more personal level, the northern area is your best chance. Regardless of how much study you do online, the best way to discover what appeals to you is to go exploring and experience it for yourself on the ground.

Here are some of the greatest places to live in Thailand, based on my own experiences living in each of these cities.

Bangkok

Bangkok is the place to go if you like cities. It is well-known for providing the highest-paying employment in Thailand, as well as a wide range of amenities such as malls, restaurants, and the ease of public transit practically everywhere.

It’s particularly useful if you like a little fancy dining now and again. Imported items are easily accessible. Many ex-pat families selected Bangkok because of its healthcare facilities and foreign schools.

The large metropolis brings with it traffic, which may be costly. Heat levels may climb to searing levels at certain periods of the year, making this an unsuitable location for individuals who despise the sun.

Hua Hin

Hua Hin is another choice for ex-pats searching for thriving communities. Hua Hin has some of Thailand’s top golf courses and fishing areas, as well as gorgeous jungles and majestic mountains, historical sites, world-class beach resorts, and even offbeat attractions such as the Santorini Park imitation towns and The Venezia (a replica Venice).

It is a high community and family-friendly suburb with the ideal balance of tranquility and conveniences.

Hua Hin, with its excellent facilities, stunning landscape, and historical sites, is a fantastic home for families due to its peaceful environment. Weekends should be spent exploring the region with the kids, and weekdays should be spent working hard from home.

Koh Tao

Koh Tao has long been recognized as a scuba diving hotspot, with some of the world’s lowest costs mixed with great standards of teaching and amazing marine life.

However, the beauty of Koh Tao goes well beyond its glittering surface, with a plethora of wonderful activities to suit every interest.

I believe it provides a quality tropical experience without the crowds that swarm Krabi and Koh Samui. There is something for everyone here, from rock climbing to trapeze activities and Muay Thai courses. And, should I forget, the food is unrivaled — with selections that extend beyond Thai food.

That is, of course, the most widely spoken language. However, due to the island’s ever-growing ex-pat community, English is spoken by an increasing number of individuals, making relocation easier.

The expense of living on Koh Tao is not too expensive, and most importantly, the internet connection is adequate.

Pattaya

Pattaya is Thailand’s second most populous tourist destination, behind Bangkok, because of its beaches. It is a tourist hotspot, with its lively nightlife, beautiful dunes, and tropical paradise atmosphere.

Because of its popularity, prices are greater here, and there is so much more to spend money on. There were also fewer career prospects, and the pay given was far lower than in the metropolis.

Pattaya would be an ideal home base for people who wish to work from home.

Chiang Mai

If you want to live in the spirit and heart of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the place to be. The region’s rich culture, along with excellent infrastructure and utilities, makes it a popular destination for digital nomads and ex-pats.

There is so much to do, from temples to sports facilities to excellent eateries, you will never be bored. It has become increasingly touristic in recent years, with traffic congestion becoming more prevalent.

Thailand Culture

Respect is a fundamental part of Thai society. The Thai people have a great deal of awe and respect for their elders, as well as for their King. They adore the royal family, with images of kings and queens adorning buildings and roadways.

When you go to the movies, you must stand in honor of the King before the film begins.

It is important to know that it is unlawful to say anything that offends or disagrees with the monarchy’s institution. It is advisable to keep your opinions to yourself.

Floating Markets Thailand

Thais are typically kind to visitors and foreigners, however, like with any country, there are possible scams and overcharging retailers. It would be advantageous if you could haggle your way to lower market prices.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Thailand

Every coin has two sides, as does everything else in life. This article is intended to provide you with not just a positive and flowery image of living in Thailand, but also the disadvantages and risks of doing so.

Let’s go through some of the advantages and disadvantages of relocating to Thailand.

Pros of Living in Thailand:

  • Living cost— With food costing up to $180 a month, cheap amenities, and low-cost lodging, it’s difficult to pass up the opportunity to live in the land of smiles. You may receive luxurious lodgings for a fraction of the price you would spend at home.
  • Healthcare — Healthcare choices, whether public or private, are much less expensive and provide comparable quality services. With so many physicians knowing English, it’s simple for a foreigner to get about.
  • Rich culture — The people you will meet and the culture you will be exposed to in Thailand are unparalleled. Learning everything from the ground up. as well as encountering stuff you’re not used to. It may be a humbling experience.
  • Transport — taxis, scooters, and even renting a vehicle are significantly less expensive than in any other location I have visited.

Cons of Living in Thailand:

    • Imported Products — The cost of imported goods such as beer, wine, and cheese is far greater than what you would ordinarily spend at home.
    • Overpriced —If you are not alert of possible scams, locals may overcharge you for food and clothing until you do your homework. I would suggest making friends with a local Thai and having them drive you about for the first few months so you can get a sense of the regular rates in the region.
    • Limited Job Opportunities — Unless you are a digital nomad in Thailand working on your side hustle, an English teaching job is your best bet.
    • Schooling – If you are not a Thai native, education is not free, and foreign schools are quite costly.

Living as a Digital Nomad in Thailand

The Hideout, Koh Yao Noi

Bangkok is known as one of the cheapest cities in the world, so it’s no wonder that it’s a popular destination for digital nomads (based on recent digital nomad trends). It ranks fourth in the world due to low internet and living expenses. The majority of individuals in Thailand’s capital understand English, and the city has first-rate services, which is an appealing aspect.

The ex-pat community here is thriving, with several conferences and networking activities, making working here less lonely.

Internet in Thailand

In general, internet access in Thailand is dependable. There are over 450,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in Bangkok for anyone wishing to settle down. For mobile internet, you can acquire a bundle with a reasonable quantity of data and 100 minutes of talk time for about $10 per month.

Alternatively, if you are always on the go or want more mobility, there are home packages available for $25 per month that provide 50MB connection speeds, a basic TV package, and phone internet for 4GB. TrueOnline, AIS Fibre, and 3BB are some of the most well-known internet service providers (ISPs).

For high-speed internet services, I would recommend paying $38.5 per month for download/upload rates of up to 1Gbps/1Gbps.

Visas for Digital Nomads in Thailand

So, Digital Nomads, rejoice!

The good news is that Thailand waives visa requirements for internet employees. Thailand’s visa waiver program provides 30 days of free admission into around 60 countries, which may be extended for USD 57 or renewed by flying in and out.

Co-Working Spaces in Thailand

Co-working may be a pleasant method for a newbie to make relationships with like-minded people and groups.

Co-working spaces abound in an increasingly popular nation for digital nomads. If you’re ever in Bangkok’s central region, The Hive is a popular alternative tucked in a residential neighborhood with up to 5 stories of room to enjoy. The cost of admission ranges from USD 10 per day to a more economical monthly ticket of USD 100.

If you want to get away from the city, go no further than Thailand’s premier co-working facility, KoHub on Koh Lanta. High-speed internet, group meals, and the best location for meeting other freelancers and nomads in the neighborhood are all included.

Punspace is a particular favorite among Chiang Mai residents. You may rotate between various places depending on your mood with 24-hour access if you have a membership that provides you access to all three venues in Chiang Mai. There are even opportunities for co-living!

Last Thoughts on Thailand Living Cost

That’s all there is to it, guys. To say the least, finding the appropriate balance between travel, business, and recreation is challenging.

Overall, I would recommend living in Thailand.

With reasonable accommodation, high-speed internet, and breathtaking scenery, relocating to Thailand offers an outstanding work/life balance as well as excellent vacation prospects.

What are your thoughts?

Are you ready to pack your belongings and leave your daily life behind?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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